Cannoli

The cannoli had its origins in Sicily. The cannoli in Italian (Sicilian) means little tube. It was prepared as dessert for the feast of Carnevale, also known is America as "Fat Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday.

This classic Sicilian dessert should be filled as close to serving time as possible. If filled too far ahead of time the shell will become soggy.

Cannoli

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese*
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto (optional)
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, grated and divided
  • 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

* As a substitute for mascarpone cheese, combine 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, 1/3 cup sour cream, and 1/4 cup whipping cream; beat well. Use 1 cup mixture for, reserving remainder for other uses.

Instructions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in beaten egg. Gradually stir in wine, mixing well. Shape dough into a ball; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll dough to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut into 3 1/2-inch circles; roll circles into 5-inch ovals with a rolling pin. Place a cannoli form down the lengthwise center of oval, and roll dough around form. Moisten seam with water to seal.
  3. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 350 degrees F. Fry cannoli shells 1 minute or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and cool about 5 seconds.
  4. Carefully remove cannoli form. Cool shells completely.
  5. Thoroughly drain ricotta cheese in a strainer, discarding liquid. Place ricotta cheese in container of an electric blender or food processor, and process until smooth.
  6. Combine ricotta, mascarpone cheese, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, and, if desired, amaretto in a medium mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Fold in 2 grated squares of chocolate; chill 4 hours.
  8. Pipe or spoon filling into shells. Sprinkle shells with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and exposed filling with remaining grated chocolate.
  9. Serve immediately.

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